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Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Editor - Baseball Primer


Moneyball Newsbeat

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Kansas City Royals: the anti-Moneyball team | The Kansas City Star

How can a person who makes his living with the written word have such poor reading comprehension? Tip: Moneyball isn’t about OBP being the Holy Grail; it’s about finding undervalued assets. 

Dayton Moore and the Royals organization took a beating from some critics for not emulating the Moneyball formula for success. But Dayton Moore and the Royals had a formula of their own; one that has proven to be more successful than the Moneyball approach.

Here’s one more quote from Moneyball:

“There was a truly astonishing discrepancy between Billy Beane and every other general manager in the business. There was no question that Billy was the best in the game.”

GM Dayton Moore has been criticized and GM Billy Beane has been lionized, but only one of them has led his team to two American League titles and a World Series championship.

It ain’t Billy Beane.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 06:54 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: moneyball, royals

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A’s Call Up Barry Zito

So the A’s on Wednesday called up Barry Zito, their former ace and Cy Young winner, from Triple-A Nashville. Zito, 37, had hoped for an MLB comeback this season when he signed a minor-league deal with the A’s, the team that drafted him in the first round in 1999.

Instead, Zito spent the year in the minors. He was 8-7 with a 3.46 ERA, a solid contributor but not sparkling enough to warrant a big-league call-up. Until now, that is.

This is likely an MLB farewell for Zito. The A’s — with their shared history and his popularity in the Bay Area — offered Zito the best chance to return to the big leagues. It would be a surprise if he tried again next season.

Here’s perhaps the best wrinkle in this story: Zito could very well pitch his final game when the A’s meet the San Francisco Giants next weekend and face former teammate Tim Hudson. Hudson and Zito, along with Mark Mulder, formed Oakland’s formidable (and extremely popular) trio of pitchers early in the 2000s.

Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: September 16, 2015 at 04:44 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, giants, moneyball

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Take me out to the brain game

“The doctors x-rayed my head and found nothing.”
-Yogi Berra

When the two researchers hopped on a conference call with Bradley’s coaches in early November to discuss their findings, they finally got a sense of the scope of the concept they were developing, and what it could mean for baseball. The coaches immediately requested the results of one player who seemed to struggle at the plate, despite obvious athleticism and a picturesque swing. Muraskin patiently explained the metrics he had recorded, seven data points in all, categorized by names like Neural Decoding Performance, Decision Position Metrics and Neural Discrimination Strength, all of which were different ways of measuring how and why a player could hit a baseball or not. On his laptop, the readout was filled with line graphs, column graphs, data tables and heat maps.

The player’s neuronal curve was shifted backwards, Muraskin explained. In other words, he was late recognizing certain pitches and therefore late in deciding whether to swing.

The silence on the other end of the line told the scientists all they needed to know. Finally, one of the coaches said, “We never understood why he’s not the best player on the team.” Now they had a clue.

“It was like ‘Yes, yes, yes!’” Muraskin said later.

“Those things keep you paddling,” he added, “instead of stabbing the raft.”


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 15, 2015 at 02:13 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: moneyball, neuroscience, science

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Justin Turner cites philosophical differences for Mets departure

Former Mets utilityman and current Dodgers star Justin Turner cited philosophical differences as a reason why he and the Mets’ front office did not always get along. Turner, who played for the Mets from 2010-2013, says that his approach at the plate clashed with the organizational philosophy promoted by General Manager Sandy Alderson.

“[Alderson] is a ‘Moneyball’ guy,” Turner said to ESPN Los Angeles. “I don’t know if ‘Looking to walk’ is the right way of saying it, but he talks about on-base percentage. I’m never looking to walk. Sometimes when you miss pitches you should hit, you end up walking. I wasn’t worried about on-base percentage or anything like that. I was just trying to have good at-bats.”

The 30-year-old third baseman was non-tendered by the Mets in December 2013 after the team’s front office reportedly felt that Turner had not hustled during his tenure with the team.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 07, 2015 at 11:33 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, justin turner, mets, moneyball, sandy alderson



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